Squatting is when someone deliberately enters property without permission and lives there, or intends to live there. 

Anyone who originally enters a property with the permission of the landlord is not a squatter, eg if you’re renting a property and fall behind with rent payments you’re not squatting if you continue to live there.

Visit  GOV.UK Opens in a new window for more information on squatting and the law including:

  • Squatting in non-residential properties
  • Squatters' rights to property
  • Stop squatters legally possessing property
  • Remove squatters
  • Where to get help

Social housing

If you suspect squatters have moved into a registered provider’s (housing association) property, contact the registered provider direct.

Squatting in residential buildings (like a house or flat) is illegal. It can lead to 6 months in prison, a £5,000 fine or both.